Category Archives: Free Courses

Edison Schools CS on Econ. of Scale, Part II

http://csinvesting.org/2017/04/13/hedge-fund-quiz-economies-of-scale/ for the last post on this case study.  Note excellent comments by readers.

Readers provide excellent analysis

The twenty-minute time limit was to force you to concentrate on the key issue: Does this company have economies of scale?   Because of it doesn’t, then growth will NOT help profitability.  In fact, growth with losses financed by debt can be financially lethal.

Part of improving as an investor is avoiding the disasters as this company turned out to be. Bad Management_Has Avenues Mastermind Chris Whittle Learned His Lesson and Failure in For Profit Education are two articles that chronicle the investor and management failures in the For-Profit-Education Sector.

The goal of this case study is to practice:

Our 10-K reading skills and our analysis of competitive advantage.   Despite how CRITICAL it is for an investor/management to determine and distinguish competitive advantages, structural advantages are often confused with outcomes or efficiency.

Competitive advantage

Competitive advantage refers to something specific–a structural barrier that prevents competitors from simply replicating the results of a successful business.  It should not be surprising that the terms competitive advantage and barriers to entry are interchangeable.

Without barriers to entry, a business cannot long enjoy an advantage over competitors that will quickly do the obvious—enter. This process of new entry will hurt not only relative performance but also absolute performance, as competition for customers dampens revenues, and competition for resources raised costs.

FIRST MOVER ADVANTAGE

First, it is NOT a competitive advantage.   But here is an example of having a first mover advantage.   You and I are in a duel.  We walk ten paces away from each other then turn and shoot the other.  After three paces, you turn around and shoot me in the back–now THAT is a first mover advantage.

Scale not size matters

It is industry structure determines which categories are most likely to manifest themselves and in what form.

Size doesn’t matter, but scale does. Scale is a relative concept, not an absolute one. The benefit it bestows are relative to peers within the relevant competitive set.

Look at WD 40_VL the company has a competitive advantage in PRODUCT SPACE.   WD-40 is the ubiquitous oil/lubricant that people keep in their tool-box/shelf/or under the sink.  They own 90% of the lubricant market.   However, they also di-worsify their free cash flow into hand soap and motor-cycle products.   Now the stock is over-priced in my opinion. If management could sell off its non-competitive products, and then become a tontine (use free-cash flow to buy in all shares)–investors would flourish.

Having 2% of a 10 billion dollar market or $100 million in sales is probably not as profitable as having sales of 40% of a 200 million dollar market or $80 million in sales.

Scale matters most when fixed costs matter most relative to the business’s overall cost structure. With large fixed costs, the operator serving the most customers will have a significant advantage due to its ability to spread those costs over more unit sales. If the costs of a business were entirely variable and increased proportionally as it grew, there would no advantage to scale.   The extent of the advantage is determined by how relatively important fixed costs are how relatively large the business is compared to the next competitor. Second, much of what is thought of as traditional fixed costs in school management—admin, school relations and lobbying, and even curriculum development—has a significant variable component.

Curriculum requires local customization. The two primary sources of fixed-cost scale in education generally are content development on the one hand and sales and marketing on the other.

Reading the 10-K

We jump to page 27: Selected financial data and see rising sales financed by issuing shares and debt.  Yet costs are not declining as a percentage of sales.  Ebitda is declining per student.  1999 revenues of $133 million almost triple to $376 million in 2001 yet operating cash flows decline from negative $17.6 to negative $29.3.

Remember the little red school house?   Edison Schools has to provide services in a regional area.   If they can develop density (or clustering as management mentions on page 16 under competitive strengths) in particular regions, then perhaps this company needs more time to show progress?  To determine their success in implementing a “clustering strategy, the next pages to peruse are pages 13-15 where you can see where Edison is operating schools.  Take a large state like Colorado. Edison has two schools in Denver and three in Colorado Springs.   Washington, DC, a huge metro area, only has eight schools and on and on.   Management will not be able to leverage their admin, curriculum and development cost over such a widely dispersed area.

Imagine running a carting/garbage pick-up service where you have 5 customers in Eastern Connecticut, seven in New Jersey, 4 in Texas, you would go broke just driving to the different customers. You would lack customer density in your routes, so your costs would be too high.

PASS!   Then if the analyst had more time, he/she could look at management.  He or she would uncover the ugly history of Chris Whittle.   No mention of that in the Credit Suisse analyst 50-page report.

Studying competitive advantages like economies of scale, customer captivity, network effects, low-cost producer will pay-off.   Practice reading case studies of success and failure will help you hone your skills.

Note companies in the educational sector with advantages: Bright Horizons_VL and Grand Canyon LOPE

One of the best books I have found on studying competitive analysis is

Strategic_Logic (Strategic Logic link will be down in 36 hours, so join the Deep-Value Group by following the links http://csinvesting.org/2015/01/14/deep-value-group-at-google/ and ask for a copy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsvnvV3wDgc Greenwald of Columbia Business School discusses local advantages.

The trilogy of books, Competitive Demystified, The Curse of the Mogul, and Class Clowns will also provide more depth to your studies:


 

 

 

An Example of the Analyst Course

It is 2006, and you want to know the true sustainable free cash flow of Mohawk because you love sleepy, mundane industries that are slowly growing. Why? Because people love to buy lottery tickets and glamour so you “go where they ain’t.”

So what is the difference between Mohawk’s GAAP earnings per share and your estimate of FREE CASH FLOW per share?    Use cash flow from operations and maintenance capex (which you need to roughly estimate). Be roughly right, not precisely wrong.

Can you explain the difference?   What is going on with Mohawk and the industry?   Note the ten-bagger or 25% CAGR for almost ten years (move over Buffett) from the 2009 lows.  Surprising or not?    MHK-2006 AR FCF Analysis.   Can you use this as a way to find other ten-baggers?

Of course, the above question is not hard for you since you have already read this 412 page book several times: Wiley Creative Cash Flow Reporting.  You do not have needed to read that book to answer the question. Use common sense and a small bit of accounting knowledge like (amortization of goodwill-hint!)

This an example of how the analyst course would teach. You have to do many case studies to practice learning concepts like free cash flow.  Like flying and sex, you have to practice.

Update: April 11, 2017: The price you pay

If you pay too much even for a great business, then you will have poor returns.

Take the three Value-Lines of Coke (KO).   VL KO and note the $80 + plus price, then track its free cash flow (as calculated by Value-Line which is After-tax earnings plus depreciation + amortization then minus capital expenditures), then earnings.   Track the price and those metrics: KO_VL_Jan 2013 and Ko_VL 2017.   You will see that on average cash flows and earnings and dividends rise from 1998 until 2017, yet returns have been just OK.   Paying too high a price hurts your total returns even with a strong, stable business like Coke. Investors were extremely optimistic over Coke’s growth prospects.  If you held Coke for a long time, your return would equal the company’s long-term return on equity.

Also, Buffett’s non-controlled public investments have generally lagged the S&P 500 Berkshire Hathaway AR 2016.

Good luck.    Those who do not provide the correct answer will have to spend time with my ex-wife:

Analyst Course


  1. Prior mentions of an analyst course with readers’ suggestions were posted:

http://csinvesting.org/2017/03/10/a-strategy-for-resource-stocks-investing-course/

http://csinvesting.org/2017/03/15/update-on-analyst-course-part-1/

http://csinvesting.org/2017/03/17/update-on-analyst-course-part-2-readersuggestions/

There are plenty of other investing courses ranging from free to $20,000.

http://www.tradingacademy.com/ Here you can learn technical analysis and trading techniques for $5,000 to $20,000.  I won’t say this is a scam, but you won’t learn anything than you could find in a $20 book on technical analysis.  Then ask yourself if and how technical analysis has ANY value?

https://www.udemy.com/value-investing-bootcamp-how-to-invest-wisely/  A typical $200 course for beginners.

http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/execed/program-pages/details/61/VI ONLY $7,200 for three days.  Learn from the famous Prof. Greenwald.  How can you be a value investor and then pay that amount?

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-online-value-investing-courses Look for yourself.

Stamford online value investing course

Columbia_VI_Executive_Summary

Columbia_VI_Sample_Agenda

http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/ FREE. But even an “expert” like Prof. Damodaran can make critical mistakes as pointed out here: http://csinvesting.org/tag/vale/  You must understand economics, banking, and credit cycles!

https://youtu.be/_uQjGz6jp2E?list=PLF1wHLfTCGUQ85w90LIg-1YXZdnUKOGtO 91 short lectures on Buffett.   Not bad.   A good supplement to your readings of Buffett.

https://youtu.be/Jo1XgDJCkh4   M. Pabrai opines about value investing. How to invest in 100-baggers.  I think Mr. Pabrai will beat the averages, but he has had 80% declines in his portfolios (2008/09).  Learn the proper lessons and NEVER cease thinking for yourself.

What Can I Contribute?

Based on my research, I still believe there is a place for a serious, rigorous, and a comprehensive course and resource center to help investors be better independent thinkers and analysts of businesses.  Over twenty-five years, I have collected a huge array of investment writings, case studies, lectures, etc. that would help serious investors–the equivalent of four graduate level courses on investing.  Why pay $60,000 per year to go to graduate school to learn value investing.   Well, students pay the $60,000 for the name brand, the certificate and the relationships with other students. Not a apples-to apples comparison–to be fair.

The issue now is organizing and reformatting the material so both beginner and expert can improve.  My bias is to learn from great investors from theory to case study.   There is nothing new investing that hasn’t been said  before by Buffett, Graham, Klarman, and Jesse Livermore. Why not learn from them instead of from a flatulent, tenured business professor (ironic?!).

While at college, I worked as a pilot. Learning to fly used the theory of flight that the student applied in good, day-light weather with a flight instructor, then progressing to independent flight.  Even Munger says the process of flight training is efficient.

A Craft

Investing is a craft or both an art and science. You need the expertise and experience to place facts, information into perspective.   An investor must understand how capital is allocated by management (Corporate Finance). Take dividends.   There are many perspectives to view dividends, but dividends are paid out of FREE CASH FLOW.   So what is free cash flow and how can we know if it is sustainable?  To understand that you must convert accounting information into underlying reality.  An entire 412 page book is devoted to all the issues surrounding sustainable free cash flow, http://160592857366.free.fr/joe/ebooks/tech/Wiley%20Creative%20Cash%20Flow%20Reporting.pdf

You understand the details but you should not get lost in minutiae because you must focus on what is important and applicable to the opportunity.

Therefore, the course will need to cover the basics like:

  • Does value investing work?
  • Important concepts: How to read, how to think. How to learn.
  • Studying great investors as they apply value investing principles.
  • How to value businesses.
  • Analyzing competitive advantage or disadvantage.
  • When to concentrate and bet heavily/using options, stubs.
  • Subsets of value investing: Growth, special situations, and distressed.
  • And many other skills

You must know:  (1) how to value a business and (2) how to think about prices.  The devil is in YOU and the details.

You either buy an undervalued asset/non-franchise business that is subject to reversion to the mean (growth doesn’t add value)  or

You buy a franchise that depending upon its moat has slower reversion to the mean.  Growth is valuable within a franchise.

The course will take students through those two types of investments with case studies. Students then can refer to Buffett, Graham and others who applied value investing.

One goal would be to help students develop their OWN investment philosophy.

How to SEARCH, VALUE, MANANGE A PORTFOLIO, and IMPROVE THE YOU are involved in having a comprehensive investment philosophy. You will have a library of investors’ different approaches and philosophies.

I probably need four to six months to put the course together.  Several of you have kindly offered to help. I appreciate your interest, and I will reach out at the appropriate time.

The goal will be to have a resource for students to build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge with an area to communicate with one another.

All for now.

Case Studies on Buffett’s Investing: NYU Course This April

 The Fundamentals of Buffett-Style Investing

Learn the investment techniques of Warren Buffett, the world’s most legendary investor. Examine case studies of Buffett’s acquisitions in order to review the real-world principles that the “Oracle of Omaha” uses to pick companies. Topics include both quantitative methods, such as valuation metrics and cash flow analysis, as well as qualitative principles, such as competitive advantage and economic moats. As a final project, partner with a classmate to present a publicly traded company you believe Buffett would buy. At the conclusion, understand what Buffett means by a “great business at a good price.” This course is appropriate for beginners in the industry and for individuals with a broad array of backgrounds. The final session is taught synchronously from the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha.

More details

You’ll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the investment techniques of Warren Buffett, the world’s most legendary investor
  • The opportunity to present a publicly traded company you believe Warren Buffett would buy

Ideal for

  • Students with little to no knowledge of investing
  • Professionals across the experience spectrum in regard to investing

READ:

CSInvesting Editor: Let me know if you attend.  Several readers took the class last year and enjoyed it.

I received this email:

Dear Mr. Chew,

You were very kind last year to post a notice about our Buffett investing class on your website.  We had several students from your site, all of whom were excellent and dedicated. According to end-of-semester student surveys, the students enjoyed the class quite a bit. You clearly attract a high caliber of investor to your online community. We would be very grateful if you would consider posting a notice of this year’s class, which starts April 1st.
See below:
New York University’s School of Professional Studies is offering an online class focused on the time-honored techniques of value investing, as practiced by the world’s most legendary investor, Warren Buffett.
By examining case studies of Buffett’s acquisitions, students will explore the real-world principles that Buffett uses to pick companies. The class starts online April 1st and is open to the public for registration.
CONTACT INFO:

The instructor, James Berman, is available to answer questions. He can be reached at 212.388.9873 or jgb4@nyu.edu.

The INSTRUCTOR

If it’s about value investing, I’m interested. I run a global equities fund that invests in the United States, Europe and Asia. As the president and founder of JBGlobal.com LLC, a registered investment advisory firm, I manage separate accounts for high-net-worth individuals and trusts. As a faculty member in the Finance Department of the NYU School of Professional Studies, I teach Corporate Finance and the Fundamentals of Buffett-Style Investing. My book, Lessons from the Lemonade Stand: a Common Sense Primer on Investing, winner of the 2013 Next Generation Indie Award for Best Non-Fiction eBook, is a guide for the first-time investor of any age. I received a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. My wife, daughter and I live in Greenwich Village where I find the lessons of value investing as useful with life as with money.

An article from the Instructor on Buffett

The One Word Missing from Buffett’s Annual Letter

 These days, can anyone tweet, converse or goose-step–let alone write 28 pages–without using the five letter word: Trump?

Warren Buffett just did.

As a value investing aficionado and Berkshire shareholder, I anticipate the annual missive from the Oracle of Omaha with bated breath. When it popped online today, I knew enough not to expect much commentary on the economic or the political. A secret to Buffett’s success has been an agnostic view on the too-many moving pieces of the macro scene. By avoiding the human obsession with the short-term and fortune telling, Buffett has always concentrated on the only thing that matters: buying wonderful businesses at fair prices. As Peter Lynch says: “If you spend more than 13 minutes analyzing economic and market forecasts, you’ve wasted 10 minutes.” I myself have found no other investing mantra more important.

But really? No mention of the greatest threat to the democratic process and the rule of law since Nixon–or beyond?

Geico is mentioned 22 times, Charlie Munger 17 times, hedge funds 12 times, table tennis once. Trump zero.

In April of 2016, Buffett went on record saying that Berkshire would do fine even with a Trump presidency. But that was at last year’s meeting–well before the election, and well before anyone thought it was a serious concern. And Buffett made some further post-election comments in December about still buying stocks, but this letter was his first major written opportunity to hold forth.

He even mentions the worthwhile contributions of immigrants but somehow never calls out Trump by name. Perhaps the silence is deafening. Buffett was an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton in the election and his failure to mention Trump may be the most damning maneuver of all.

Or not.

Because if there’s one thing I wanted as a Buffett follower, it was a reasoned and sober commentary–refracted through the prism of his extraordinary, eminently sensible brain–on what this erratic, errant president means for our country, our markets and our lives.

James Berman teaches The Fundamentals of Buffett-Style Investing, an online class starting April 1 offered by NYU’s School of Professional Studies.

Buffett Warning

Where is he now? http://ericcinnamond.com/buffett-1999-vs-buffett-2017/

Buffett 1999 vs. Buffett 2017

This may sound awful coming from a value investor, but I don’t read Berkshire Hathaway’s annual reports cover to cover. I did earlier in my career. In fact, I’d eagerly await its release, just as many investors do today. However, over the years I’ve gravitated more to what makes sense to me and have relied less on the guidance from investment oracles such as Warren Buffett (see post What’s Important to You?).

While I know significantly less about Warren Buffett than most dedicated value investors, it seems to me that he has changed over the years. I suppose this shouldn’t be surprising as we all have our seasons. And maybe I’m the one who has changed, I really don’t know. But I remember a different tone from Buffett almost twenty years ago when stocks were also breaking record highs. It was during the tech bubble when he went out of his way to warn investors of market risk and overvaluation.

I found an old article from BBC News with several Buffett quotes during that period (link). The article discusses Warren Buffett’s response to a Paine Webber-Gallup survey conducted in December 1999. The survey showed that investors expected stocks to rise 19% annually over the next decade. Clearly investors were extrapolating recent returns far into the future. Fortunately, Warren Buffett was there to save the day and help euphoric investors return to their senses.

The article states, “Mr Buffett warned that the outsized returns experienced by technology investors during 1998 and 1999 had dulled them into complacency.”

“After a heady experience of that kind,” he said, “normally sensible people drift into behaviour akin to that of Cinderella at the ball.

“They know that overstaying the festivities…will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice.”

I really like and can relate to the Warren Buffett of nearly twenty years ago. If I could go back in time and show the 1999 Buffett today’s market, I wonder what he would say. I’d ask him if investor psychology and the current market cycle appears much different than the late 90s.

Similar to 1999, have investors experienced outsized returns this cycle? From its lows in 2009, the S&P 500 has increased 270%, or 17.9% annually. This is very close to the annual returns investors were expecting in the 1999 survey, when Buffett was warning investors.

Have investors been dulled into complacency? Volatility remains near record lows, with every small decline being saved by central banks and dip buyers. Investors show little fear of losing money.

Are today’s investors not Cinderella at the ball overstaying the festivities? It’s the second longest and one of the most expensive bull markets in history!

There are of course differences between 1999 and today’s cycle. While valuation measures are elevated, today’s asset inflation is much broader than in 1999. The tech bubble was extremely overvalued, but narrow. A disciplined investor could not only avoid losses in the 1999 bubble, but due to value in other areas of the market, could make money when it burst. Given the broadness of overvaluation in 2017, I don’t believe that will be possible this cycle. In my opinion, it will be much more challenging to navigate through the current cycle’s ultimate conclusion than the 1999 cycle.

The broadness in overvaluation this cycle makes Buffett’s recommendation to buy a broadly diversified index fund even more difficult for me to understand. Furthermore, given the nosebleed valuations of many high quality businesses, I’m not as confident as Buffett in buying and holding quality stocks at current prices. It again reminds me of the late 90s. At that time, there were many high quality companies that were so overvalued it took years and years for their Es catch up to their Ps. But these are important (and long) topics for another day.

Let’s get back to Buffett 1999. I find it interesting to compare him to Buffett 2017. Surprisingly, Buffett 2017 doesn’t seem nearly as concerned about valuations this cycle. Buffett writes, “American business — and consequently a basket of stocks — is virtually certain to be worth far more in the years ahead [emphasis mine]. Innovation, productivity gains, entrepreneurial spirit and an abundance of capital will see to that. Ever-present naysayers may prosper by marketing their gloomy forecasts. But heaven help them if they act on the nonsense they peddle.”

You can include me as a naysayer of current prices and valuations of most risk assets I analyze. Based on the valuations of my opportunity set, I’ll take the advice from another naysayer – the Warren Buffett of 1999. As he recommended, I plan to avoid extrapolating outsized returns and will not ignore signs of investor complacency. I plan to remain committed to my process and discipline. By doing so, when the current market cycle concludes, I hope to achieve two of my favorite Warren Buffett rules of successful investing – avoid losing money and profit from folly.

Take a Microcap Investing Course for Free

http://www.oddballstocks.com/2017/02/podcast-interview-plus-new-investing.html

I think Nate is an intelligent, self-taught investor who can teach us all a few things if we do the work.   Listen to the podcast.Hi, this is Nate Tobik.

More microcap podcasts here: https://planetmicrocap.podbean.com/

Another microcap investor:http://classicvalueinvestors.com/

An excellent interview on mineral economics and gold

Back to the future with gold BTTF_GoldMoney_Insights  Gold doesn’t create wealth but it can store it effectively for decades or centuries.

100 Baggers Seminar Today at 3 PM

http://www.mayermethod.com/video-3_erk862.html  or http://www.mayermethod.com   This Saturday, 3 PM Eastern Standard Time (New York City times)

A sign-in for email here: https://subscribe.bonnerandpartners.com/XBF1T135

I don’t know if this is a marketing gimmick, but Chris Mayer is the author of a recently updated 100 to 1 book. http://www.valuewalk.com/2016/02/a-review-of-100-baggers-stocks-that-return-100-to-1-and-how-to-find-them/

 


I listened for ten minutes to find out this was JUST a sales/ bait and switch scam to buy an overpriced newsletter.   Hurry now before the letter doubles to $5,000.  Give me a break!   How stupid do they think people are.  YOU can do better on your own.

I apologize for posting.   Not everything is worth your time.

Mini Course on Analyzing Gold/Silver Stocks (GSA)

Gold Stock Analyst
 CSInvesting: Yes, this is an ad/enticement to get you to subscribe to his newsletter, but John Doody is a top   analyst in the gold space.  You can use his same techniques yourself–if you are willing to do the work.

GSA Mini-Course No. 1

The three critical metrics for determining upside potential in gold mining stocks.

How do you sort through 1,000+ publicly traded gold mining companies to determine which ones are viable investments? After all, they all produce the same thing: gold.

In the informative four-minute video below, GSA-Top10 Editor-in-Chief John Doody describes three critical metrics he pioneered over 20 years ago that cut through the confusion and chaos of the gold mining market to reveal high-upside opportunities. Watch it, and you’ll understand how John’s pioneering evaluation approach has helped the GSA-Top10 investment method consistently outperform the S&P 500, the XAU index and gold itself ever since.

Mini Course 1

or https://secure1.goldstockanalyst.com/order.lasso?promoAdLoad=1&mailCode=MINI-COURSE-1&course=1

Are you a serious investor? Get the facts about the most successful gold investing strategy of the past 15 years!

Click here to view a 13-minute video that explains the powerful GSA-Top10 strategy in greater detail.

You’ll learn:

  • How GSA analysts sort through more than a thousand publicly traded gold stocks to find the handful with significant upside over the next 2 to 3 years!
  • How the GSATop10 newsletter makes investing and maintaining your winning gold stock portfolio virtually effortless!

Click here to download a free report on one of the GSA-Top10 companies — a $99 value!

You’ll see:

  • The deep research and thoughtful analysis that makes GSA the most respected and successful gold stock authority in the world!
  • The engaging format that makes complex information – and recommendations – easy to grasp!

Note: The GSA-Top10 newsletter is intended for serious investors who can commit a minimum of $10,000 to a focused gold stock portfolio for at least three years.

Other Blogs/Websites to Read; The Meaning Crisis

http://wertartcapital.com
Argonaut Capital
Bargain Magazine
Bristlemouth
Bronte Capital
Clark Street Value
Damodaran
Farnam Street
Keep on track
Marathon Reviews
Swiss financial markets commentary
valueandopportunity
https://foragerfunds.com/bristlemouth/value-traps-media-sector-nzme/#comment-7353

I downloaded several excellent articlues on the Capital Cycle from Marathon Reviews.    Search for and find other good sources, then let others know at the Deep-Value discussion board–go to http://csinvesting.org/2015/01/14/deep-value-group-at-google/

READING:

11 THINGS WE’RE READING OR WATCHING THIS WEEK
  1. Savvy owners, savvy investors? – Larry Sarbit
  2. The great unbundlingBen Thompson
  3. Amazon is eating the retail worldBen Carlson
  4. Aurelius on business, investing, lifeRavi Nagarajan
  5. Pabrai’s market-beating approach – Preston Pysh
  6. Cassandra’s songJohn Hussman
  7. President Obama on booksMichiko Kakutani
  8. Restaurant industry bubbleKevin Alexander
  9. A chat with Daniel Kahneman – Morgan Housel
  10. Knowing your investment boundaries – John Huber
  11. Letters: AnabaticArquitos | Askeladden | BronteD&C | Greenlight | GreenWoodJDPLMMOakmark | Pershing | VltavaWedgewood

The Meaning Crisis for College Students

Test for Investors; Do you have what it takes to be a value investor?

giraffs

Test yourself…………….

Each of four cards on a table has a letter on one side and a number on the other, but you can only see what is on the side facing up. What you see are two letters and two numbers:

A         4           D           7

Suppose the rule governing these cards is that if a card has a vowel on one side, it has an even number on the other side. Which two cards would you turn over to find out whether the rule is true? Take no more than twenty seconds.

Now go to the real world: Can you name at least two psychological/analytical errors that you see in this clip.

https://youtu.be/Cxjdj5_5yNM Take no more than 4.5 minutes–length of the clip. The investment bankers each have MBAs, CFAs, Accountng degrees etc. They are SMART!

Total time for test 5 minutes.

2016_templeton   Hand-out to go with the above talk in 2016.    A good discussion of the psychological strength needed to apply value investing principles.

Study Stoicism to Improve Your Investing and Your Life

cropped-marcusinnewyorknew1

Objective judgement, now at this very moment,
Unselfish action, now at this very moment,
Willing acceptance, now at this very moment, of all external events.
That is all you need.

To me that captures the three disciplines (perception, action, will) very nicely. It tells you how to see the world, how to act in the world, and how to come to terms with the world. It is indeed all one needs. You could spend a lifetime trying to just live that quote.

Understanding Stoic Philosophy may help you as an investor maintain rationality, control unwanted emotional reactions, and develop clear thinking for better choices which is, after all, what investing is all about.

The essense of philosophy is that we should live so that our happiness depends on as little as possible on external causes. –Epictetus

http://modernstoicism.com/q_lesson_page/introduction-to-stoic-week/

  1. stoic-week-2016-handbook-stoicism-today
  2. philosophical-meditation
  3. the-stoic-philosophy-murruoft
  4. the-stoics-1975

Stoicism in six minutes